The Benefits of Revealing Secrets
Over the past fifteen years, researchers have acknowledged that the revealing of personal secrets through talking and writing can lead to a variety of health benefits, in view of the fact that the opportunity allows the secret holder to openly express the clandestine information with another. This prospect not only allows the individual the opportunity to relieve themselves of the pressure of the emotional burden, but also the chance to come to terms with the concealment of their secrets.
The revelation of a secret allows for the individual to gain new insight or catharsis into their personal undisclosed information. In the article, a new insight refers to the making of a meaning out of the situation, which lead to the formation of the secret. Once the individual developments a since of meaning, they then can begin the process of developing a since of closure, in regards, to the personal situation, which lead to the formation of the secret.
Catharsis is used in the article to insinuate the “venting of emotions” (652). Catharsis allows for an individual to opening express themselves in a manner were they can declare their pent-up thoughts and feelings, in regards to the establishment of their secret and begin the process of coming to terms with the confidential issue.
In this particular research article the researchers conducted their research “in an effort to disentangle the effects of gaining catharsis from the effects of gaining new insights, which have been blended in previous research that has examined the benefits of revealing emotion and facts surrounding private traumas (662).
There is a matter of some controversy, between the two methods of revealing secrets. Researchers agree there is a relationship between health benefits and the burden of keeping a secret. But, the particular research discussed in this article is intended to test whether gaining “new insights into the secret would be the better predictor of feeling positive about the secret at the time of the study”(653), compared to using catharsis as the method of coming to terms with the reasons behind the development of the secret.
This particular study consisted of two separate projects conducted by the same researchers. In the first study, undergraduates in a introductory psychology class were “asked to (a) select the most private, personal secret that they had shared with another person, (b) describe to what extent they experienced catharsis and gained new insights into the secret after revealing it, and (c) indicate how they felt when thinking about the secret now” (653). A number of different questions were also asked of them in regards to “how private their secret was to them at the time of the study”(654), “the number of people with whom they shared the secret”(654) and “with whom the shared the secret first”(654). The students recorded their answers using a ”7-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (not at all) to...